First of all, being an avid Star Wars fan, I have to say that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, making a Star Wars reference is awesome. What’s even better is that it was off script. It’s great. For those who haven’t heard the news, the quote is as follows:
“Even though most people feel that I’m being reasonable [and] presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right,” said Obama. “They’re elected; we have a Constitutional system of government. What I can do is make the best possible case for why we need to do the right thing.”
I think that many would agree that a mind meld between the members of Congress right now would be a great thing. Unfortunately, President Obama isn’t a Jedi. If he were, that would only be one more reason to vote for him. Equally unfortunate is the fact that the majority of the Star Wars community doesn’t know that a Jedi mind-meld actually exists.
In fact, many think that the mind-meld comes from Star Trek. It is true that the humanoid Vulcans from Star Trek are capable of performing mind melds, but the mind melds that they perform are actually nothing like the one that President Obama was referring too.
Because mind-melds do exist in the Star Wars universe. Granted, if you have never explored the Star Wars Expanded Universe (or EU), which you should, you will never have heard of a Jedi mind-meld. But the fact remains, they exist.
The first appearance of mind-melds, at least chronologically, occurs around the year 3,640 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin, or, for those less versed in Star Wars lore, A New Hope), in Drew Khapshyrn’s 2013 novel entitled “Annihilation”. Granted, this is a primitive form of mind-melding, and is used by the Sith, and not the Jedi, to meld with organic vessels.
It’s not until nearly 36 centuries later that the Jedi mind-meld reappears in a Star Wars novel. This novel, yet again from the expanded universe, is Timothy Zahn’s excellent “Outbound Flight”, a precursor to his equally well done Hand of Thrawn trilogy.
In this novel, the method of utilizing the Force to connect the minds of a group of Force wielders to provide them with a singular vision is taught to a young Anakin Skywalker by Jorus C’Baoth. The original Jorus C’Baoth, mind you, not the clone created by Emporer Palpatine that fell to the dark side.
Anakin, of course, shares this technique with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The two were known to use it in battle, as it allows for the creation of a singular vision, and therefore better strategy in battle.
However, during the Great Jedi Purge (The infamous “Order 66” in Revenge of the Sith), the technique was lost, until nearly 25 years ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), when Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo rediscovered the technique. This techniques was key in defeating the Yuuzhan Vong invaders, whose superior technology allowed them to enter the galaxy and maraud throughout it unopposed. The technique allows the Force users employing it to create superior battle strategies, and draw on each other’s energy.
Other Jedi that used it included Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, Tahiri Veila, and Ben Skywalker. That’s a lot of major Jedi. So, yes, mind melds are a part of the star Wars universe, be it expanded or not. And, therefore, Obama’s reference was correct.
And really, I wish that he could perform mind melds. A single minded congress that can create superior strategies for tackling the predicament that the US finds it self in right now would be extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, with a Republican congress, this is unlikely to happen.